Non-profit to donate 2,000 books to MVES

By LINDA LONG/For the Reporter

ALABASTER – Linda Hogue, first grade teacher at Meadow View Elementary School in Alabaster remembers the first book she ever owned as a child.  “It was called ‘Freckles,’” she said, “I cherished that book so much I still have it today.”

That’s the kind of experience Hogue hopes to share with her students when vans hauling close to 2,000 brand new kids’ books come rolling in to the school later this week.

Thanks to a grant from the non-profit group First Book, each child in the K-third grade elementary school will get a brand new book to take home with them and keep forever.

“These books aren’t meant for the school library,” said Hogue.  “They are meant to be distributed to the children, to be taken home, and read, and probably read over again.”

When Meadow View students dig into the 50-plus boxes of packed reading material, they’ll most likely find “books about pirates and ninjas, carnivores and herbivores, fantastic adventures, poetry, science and the universe and history,” explained the First Book website.  “Kids need books, but they need books about subjects they want to read.”

That’s why the non-profit teams with publishers to obtain donations of brand new books on the most up-to-date kid favorite topics.  According to First Book, without books, children miss out on the chance to become strong readers and successful students – especially children from low-income families.

The low income status is how Meadow View qualified for the grant, Hogue explained.  We are a Title I school, which means 52 percent of our students qualify for the reduced lunch’s program.”

“Getting these books will mean a lot to these children,” said Hogue, “because so many of them don’t have access to them at home. Their parents don’t have extra income to spend on books.  When it comes to choosing between food and medicine or books, they will, of course, choose survival.  Books aren’t their top priority at that point.”

“But, it is so important for children to have books to call their own,” added Hogue. “There is something special about having a book in your hand and being able to say this is my book.  It means a lot to them.”